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Many people are first drawn to Yoga as a way to keep their bodies fit and supple. Others come seeking relief or help for a specific ailment like tension or Backache. Whatever your reason is, Yoga can be a tool in giving you both what you came for, and more.

Though the practice of Yoga is closely associated to ancient texts, beliefs, and values, it also yields benefits useful for people's practical daily lives. Here are some reasons why more and more people are practicing Yoga:

1. Yoga relaxes the body and the mind. Even in the midst of stressful environments, Yoga helps control breathing and clears the mind of cluttered thoughts, leaving only deep physical and mental refreshment.

2. Yoga can help normalize body weight. For people who are either overweight or underweight, Yoga Exercises can help achieve the desired weight. The principles of balance and moderation in physical activity and diet under Yoga can also lead to a healthier lifestyle.

3. Yoga improves your resistance to disease. The postures and movements in Yoga massage the internal organs, enhancing blood circulation and functionality, thus, lessening the risk of illness.

4. Yoga increases your energy level and productivity. For as quick as 20 minutes, Yoga can replenish the mind and body with precious energy needed to respond to daily tasks and challenges.

5. Yoga leads to genuine inner contentment and self-actualization. Meditation -one of the aspects of Yoga- focuses the mind, taking it away from the distractions of the highly-materialistic world and leading it to genuine happiness.

Yoga is a method of learning that aims to attain the unity of mind, body, and spirit through these three main Yoga structures: Exercise, Breathing, and Meditation. The exercises of Yoga are designed to put pressure on the Glandular Systems of the body, thereby increasing its efficiency and total health. The body is looked upon as the primary instrument that enables us to work and evolve in the world, a Yoga student; therefore, treats it with great care and respect. The Breathing Techniques are based on the concept that breath is the source of life in the body. Yoga students gently increase their breath control to improve the health and the function of both body and mind. These two systems prepare the body and mind for Meditation, making it easier for students to achieve a quiet mind and be free from everyday stress. Regular daily practice of all three parts of this structure of Yoga produce a clear, bright mind and a strong, capable body.





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A human life is a priceless gift of God. The Lord does not have a greater gift than this to give his beloved creatures. Its specialties and potentials are so extraordinary that its results can only amaze us. This gift has been given to us to fulfill divine goals. But it is our ill-fate that we have forgotten our divine nature, God’s gift and the goal/ importance of a human life. Neither do we know our divine potential, nor the Lord’s goal, wisdom or meditation. We are straying far away in this dark, gloomy world. This forgetfulness is strange. People generally forget objects and also what they have read, heard etc. A person whom we had known in the past is now a stranger for us, since we have forgotten him. But it is rare to find a person who forgets himself. We think ourselves to be a body with name and form. We desire what our mind desires, we look upon the body’s needs as our own need. The body and mind are the 2 wheels of the chariot of our life. But we have totally forgotten that we are the soul and not the body. No doubt we hear time and again that the body is different from the soul. But it is very rare that someone actually experiences this fact. And even if we experience it, it is in a very hazy manner. If we understand true reality and the difference between the life-force and peripherals that manifests in our consciousness, we will give prime importance to soul well-being. We would give only that much importance to material objects as is required. Today we are walking with feet devoid of shoes and decorate our cars with frills of gold. We are dying of hunger and give clarified butter to vehicles. “We” means the soul and vehicle means body or mind. The Lord is serving his servants. It is indeed strange that he has forgotten his responsibility.

ATTAINING THE SOUL’S GOAL

The goal of life is to attain self-fulfillment. This self-fulfilled state can only be at the level of divinity. In order to attain God, the mind should get concentrated on him. Before constructing important buildings, their maps, plans and models are designed. An engineer, architect etc. will build buildings based on these models. An image of God with his qualities, activities and nature is carried out for the purpose of meditation. As a result one experiences nearness, oneness and a sense of merging of God. This is the true nature of meditation.

The goal of true meditation is to regain our lost memory regarding our real nature. If someone happens to regain it, it is definitely akin to a man coming out of a very scary dream. It is only then that one experiences a condition akin to a child being lost in a massive crowd or like that of a man who has lost the memory of his identity. Those undergoing such anguish, experience a great loss and they hurt their near and dear ones. Since we have lost our memory (that we are the mighty soul and not the body), our condition is as demeaning as a baby lion being brought up in a family of goats. As a result we are giving pain to our true nature, which is divinity.

The goal of Yoga of meditation is to overcome loss of memory i.e. to awaken to the fact that we are the soul and not the body. In that one remembers God and one experiences one’s soul nature. The memory of the union of a living being (Jiva) and God (Brahman) is re-activated and one experiences, that this very Divine Power contact was broken by us, is in reality our Divine Mother and Benefactor. Not only this but like the proverbial wish-fulfilling cow (Kamadhenu), it is so powerful that by drinking its nectarine milk, we attain divinity. By sitting in the shade of a wish-fulfilling tree (Kalpavriksha) one can attain anything. After contacting, coming close to that Divine Centre, one does not lack anything and thus we can overcome all types of poverty. Thus Yoga of Meditation helps us attain this goal.


CONCENTRATION

It is not something great to attain Divine Powers. It should be protected from any type of wastage and should never be misused. The benefits of attaining Divine Powers are encountered when they are gathered in a safe place and that they are utilized only for sacred tasks.

As a result of heat, a lot of water of the oceans gets converted to steam. So much steams rises into the atmosphere from cooking gas, fire etc. All this goes in waste. But in an engine, a little bit of water is converted to steam. This steam is not allowed to stray in the atmosphere and is in fact collected in a tank. Later its energy flow passes out of a small hole and reaches the piston. As a result of this small process, the engine of a train starts functioning. Not only does it move but it runs at a great speed. Its movement is so powerful that it tugs alongwith it many other compartments at a high speed.

If tons of gun powder are spread out on the ground and lit with a match-stick, it will show a little light for a flash of a moment and then get burnt to ashes. This is a total wastage and is of no use to us. But if it is enclosed in a small area of a gun and by pressing the trigger a little, sparks of fire touch the gunpowder, this infinitesimal gunpowder gives amazing results. The bullet runs at a mammoth speed to its target. Wherever it lands, it topples that object. One can thus clearly note the difference between just lighting up tons of gunpowder with a matchstick and on the other hand, lighting up a minute amount of gun powder in a gun.

The rays of sun light are scattered all over the earth. Daily the sun rises and then sets in the evening. This sunlight can give only a little heat and light to us. But if a few sunrays are concentrated on paper using a special lens, the paper starts burning. If it is thrown in a huge jungle, a forest fire ensues which destroys that entire area to ashes.

During Draupadi’s Swayamvar (choosing you own groom), the condition for getting married to her was that the prospective bridegroom should pierce the eye of a bird placed at a distance with an arrow. Dronacharya was helping his students to master this art. Before his students aimed an arrow, Dronacharya would ask them as to what they were seeing. On an average the students would say that are seeing a bird on the tree. As a result Dronacharya would declare that such students would never succeed. When it was Arjun’s turn, he answered that I can only see the bird’s eye and nothing else. Thus Dronacharya declared that Arjun would definitely succeed. Truly at the Swayamvara ceremony of Draupadi, Arjun pierced the eye of the bird with one single arrow and thus got married to Draupadi.

It is said that a flying creature called a buzzing bee catches hold of a caterpillar and continues to buzz in front of it. As a result of continuously hearing the buzz of the bee and visualizing the bee’s form, the mental state of the caterpillar becomes that of a bee. The caterpillar starts thinking itself to be a buzzing bee. As a result the body of the caterpillar takes the shape of a buzzing bee instead of a grown up butterfly. Zoologists may doubt this but it is a definite fact that whenever man concentrates/ focuses his mind on a particular name and form, his mind too takes up the name, form and characteristics of that object. As a result of focusing her mind on beauty and youth, a prostitute regains her beauty to a great extent at an advanced age too. On the other hand, many young men and women look aged because their minds are all the time thinking of hardships and dire circumstances. All this is a result of focusing one’s mind on a particular good/ bad thought. This could be intentional or unintentional.

Spiritual concentration means to stop the mind from straying away from its center and that after focusing one’s Divine Powers at one central focal point, one should utilize the same for sacred endeavors only. This is called control of mind or focusing of the psyche in spiritual texts. A lot of discussion takes place regarding Yoga of Meditation. It should be surmised as an art of concentrating one’s mind. When we hear about it, its success seems mediocre but in reality, it is a great achievement. When one masters this art, man by focusing his scattered conscious energy in one place, utilizes it for some sacred purpose and thus attains amazing success.

Water is filled in dams. But when it is ejected from a small opening, a stream of it flows at break neck speed because of water pressure generated by the dam. This flow has extraordinary energy. Its influence aids the movement of wheels of many machines and as a result these machines start moving. The construction of huge electric powerhouses takes place near gigantic dams. It is very expensive to generate electricity using engines and machines but hydroelectricity is cheaply operated near dams. Near smaller waterfalls, you have water mills. The resultant energy is not due to the stream of water but it is due to its concentration. By focusing a widespread area in a smaller area, you generate power.

The aim of Yoga of Meditation is to concentrate mental thought scattering in one small area of thought. The more an individual succeeds in concentrating his mind, the more his psyche will radiate with power. Like an arrow of word, it is easy for him to attain his goal. If spirituality is his aim, he will advance spiritually and his psyche will radiate with Ridhi-Sidhi or what are called Divine Powers. If the aim is material progress, we will attain this goal too. In whichever appropriate direction this energy is used, it will reap good dividends.

Concentration/ focusing means overcoming the wasteful scattering of the thought waves of our mind. By obstructing the water flow of a small stream, a dam is created and thus a small pond, lake is created. Then artificial streams are created from this lake which give water to far off arid regions. If this stream were not converted into a dam, it would have lashed at the shores and caused wasteful flooding in surrounding regions. This would lead to material destruction in that region. One should not look upon the thought flow in our mind as less important when compared to a hydroelectricity generator. The power of an electricity powerhouse is limited and can transmit electricity to a very limited region in its vicinity. But this cannot be said about the mind. Its potential of today can be augmented infinite fold in the future. Its area of influence which is today limited to the family and friends will in future encompass the entire world.

Generally people of great authority like scientists, philosophers, artists, scholars, sculptors, authors, managers, leaders etc are like ordinary laymen. Their body is very ordinary and their minds lack a magical wand. Whatever difference one perceives in them alongwith the miracle of their greatness, is a result of their inner special qualities which in turn are related to the focusing capacity of their mind and their steadfastness in reaching the desired goal. Everybody possesses infinite amount of intellectual energy. To the extent that weak brained individuals too have a lot of radiance. The difference only is this that some have activated this radiance and the rest have not done so. Even a very wise person is like a dead corpse when he is in deep sleep. But on waking up, he manifests his intellectual brilliance. This holds true for the brain too. Due to certain circumstances, the intellectual powers of some people remains latent and thus look weak intellectually. But if their intellect is activated with effort, not only will they be as brilliant as other wise people but sometimes they will march ahead of them too.

Everyone knows that many threads unite together to form a strong rope and many broomsticks join together to form a broom. Many drops of water constitute a jugful of water. This example is given to accept the fact that by obstructing the wayward scattering of the intellect, one can focus/ concentrate one’s thought waves at a focal point. One can easily understand that wayward scattering of thoughts in various directions diminishes our mental prowess and that if these thoughts are concentrated at one single point, it will give us miraculous mental strength.

By advancing mental concentration, great scientists, Yogis, philosophers etc. enter the deep ocean called the mind and thus collect priceless jewels. Those who just float on the surface of the sea, attain nothing but those who dive deep into it, attain priceless materials. Superficial thinking is like a wayward blade of grass moving aimlessly here and there. On the other hand focusing one’s thought waves at a single point in the psyche via meditation gives miraculous results.




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Yoga has simple and effective body movements that strengthen one's back, firm the stomach, and redistribute body weight. Yoga exercises stretch and tone the body muscles. They increase endurance and improve flexibility.

Yoga Asanas or positions are the best among all exercises for toning muscles, lubricating joints and massaging the body. Yoga postures bring physical as well as mental stability, health and vigor. These Asanas were developed thousands of years ago and have evolved over centuries. They work wonders in keeping the body healthy and the mind peaceful. Asanas exercise the nerves, glands, ligaments, and muscles. In other words, yoga exercises are the most comprehensive method of self care

Although asanas are very powerful, the effect becomes dramatic when they are done the right way. The mind must be in harmony with the body movements. For this it is essential to equip yourself with the other tools of Integral Yoga.

The aspect of Yoga that most people are aware of is "Hatha Yoga" or the Yoga of Postures. Developing a strong, healthy and flexible body is but one aspect of this ancient science. Yogis revere the body. However, they do this because they realize that a weak and tired body is a hindrance towards spiritual progress. By being mindful of their breathing while they practice the various postures, they train themselves to discipline their minds. By disciplining their minds, they are able to abide by the principles which Yoga stands for. First amongst these principles is "Ahimsa", or peacefulness in thought, deed, and action not only to other human beings, but also to all living creatures, and most importantly to our own selves. Remember this when you tend to push yourself into a forward bend! You will be able to do it over a period of time, just be easy on yourself.

Anyone can practice Yoga. You don't need any special equipment, clothing, or lessons; all you need is the will to pursue a healthier and happier lifestyle. The Yoga Postures and Asanas exercise every part of your body. The stretching involved helps in toning your muscles and joints, including your spine and your entire Skeletal System. Yoga not only facilitates in improving your body but also aids in keeping your Glands, Nerves and your other internal organs in radiant health.




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